The State Council moved on Tuesday to postpone to 21 June the verdict in the case surrounding the maritime demarcation agreement that transferred the sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.
In the latest session in the trial, the plaintiffs restated the evidence they brought forward to the court and submitted a memorandum for the court’s review.
“This [postponement] was expected, which is why we came prepared with a comprehensive memorandum, and we can only hope the verdict is in our favour,” said Khalid Ali, a plaintiff and prominent rights defender.
Public mandates have been made for Ali and a number of other lawyers to represent the plaintiffs to contest the agreement.
The court adjourned after a heated defence, where council Ismail Osman pointed to the evidence they presented and questioned what action the court would take to stop the islands from becoming Saudi territory.
Ali, Osman, and lawyer Ali Ayoub presented the court with atlases, diplomatic correspondences, and state addresses that either include direct mention of Tiran and Sanafir as part of Egyptian territory or fail to mention them as Saudi territory.
Ali called upon the court to demand the government make the evidence in support of the decision to cede the islands public as well as to find a means to ensure that the handover of the territories is halted until a final verdict on the matter is passed.
Tiran and Sanafir islands were transferred to Saudi control in April, which sparked widespread opposition among both pro-government and anti-government factions in Egypt.
The Saudi government had asked for control of the islands from other Egyptian regimes but the requests were denied due to security concerns.